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J Virol. 2006 Jun;80(11):5552-62.

Sequential immunization with V3 peptides from primary human immunodeficiency virus type 1 produces cross-neutralizing antibodies against primary isolates with a matching narrow-neutralization sequence motif.

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AIDS Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.


An antibody response capable of neutralizing not only homologous but also heterologous forms of the CXCR4-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) MNp and CCR5-tropic primary isolate HIV-1 JR-CSF was achieved through sequential immunization with a combination of synthetic peptides representing HIV-1 Env V3 sequences from field and laboratory HIV-1 clade B isolates. In contrast, repeated immunization with a single V3 peptide generated antibodies that neutralized only type-specific laboratory-adapted homologous viruses. To determine whether the cross-neutralization response could be attributed to a cross-reactive antibody in the immunized animals, we isolated a monoclonal antibody, C25, which neutralized the heterologous primary viruses of HIV-1 clade B. Furthermore, we generated a humanized monoclonal antibody, KD-247, by transferring the genes of the complementary determining region of C25 into genes of the human V region of the antibody. KD-247 bound with high affinity to the "PGR" motif within the HIV-1 Env V3 tip region, and, among the established reference antibodies, it most effectively neutralized primary HIV-1 field isolates possessing the matching neutralization sequence motif, suggesting its promise for clinical applications involving passive immunizations. These results demonstrate that sequential immunization with B-cell epitope peptides may contribute to a humoral immune-based HIV vaccine strategy. Indeed, they help lay the groundwork for the development of HIV-1 vaccine strategies that use sequential immunization with biologically relevant peptides to overcome difficulties associated with otherwise poorly immunogenic epitopes.

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